Valentine's Day. When one hears the name, what does one think. One thinks of love, a time to express oneself and at time do nice things for those who are close to one. However, there is a tainted side to all of this joyous festivity. Valentine's Day is one of the most heinous corporate plots ever invented. The real purpose of this seemingly innocent holiday is for corporate America to exploit consumers by feeding of one of humankinds most intimate desires: love and the infamous "hanky-panky." By creating a holiday based around love businesses profit off of one's need for companionship.
Why else would the be all of this craziness surrounding Valentine's Day. Consider this the next next you get the desire to go do something sweet for your "honey" in the name of Valentine's Day.
I have it on good authority that Pope Gelasius, the one who established Valentine's Day in 500 AD, was secretly moonlighting as a restaurant owner who wished to pump up the volume at his trendy eatery in downtown Rome. Long before today's Valentine's Day of heart-shaped boxes of chocolate, there was Lupercalia, an ancient Roman day of bloody goatskin thongs and animal sacrifice. You know, the good old days.
Held in mid-February, Lupercalia was celebrated to ward off evil spirits and promote fertility. Priests who worshiped Faunus dressed in goatskins, sacrificed two male goats and a dog, then ran around the city swatting women with pieces of goatskin from the sacrificial victims. It was thought that by being hit with the skin, a woman would be more fertile or have an easy birth. Strangely, Pope Gelasius didn't consider the rite to be very Christian, putting an end to it in 496 A.D. and establishing the feast of St. Valentine.
Restaurant owners across the country have got to be wetting their pants right now knowing that the dining-cash-cow of the year is an otherwise lonesome Monday is actually a thousands year old tradition. They'll be laughing all the way to the bank on Tuesday. The laugh's on us.
Prepare to pay through the nose for crappy pre-fixe food and bottles of wine no one ever heard of in a jam-packed venue you wouldn't have patronized except it was the only place you could score a reservation. The whole idea pisses me off.
No one really knows who the real St. Valentine was — but some believe he was a Roman priest who secretly married young Christians, an act outlawed by emperor Claudius II in the 3rd century A.D. Valentine was sentenced to death by Claudius and, legend has it, before he was brutally killed, Valentine blessed the blind daughter of his jailor and restored her sight, enabling her to read the love letter he'd written her, which he signed "from your Valentine." They would have lived happily ever after except St. Valentine was then beaten with clubs, stoned and, mercifully, beheaded.
Aside from being an evil corporate scheme aimed at exploiting one of humankinds most intimate instincts, support of Valentine's Day leads to nuclear war. By buying from these scheming corporations,aimed at getting your dollar so you can feel "loved," you make them more and more powerful. Eventually, they will become more powerful than the government.
When this occurs, corporate America will force the government to relinquish control to it. Since business runs nearly everything in a capitalist society, the government will be forced to comply. However, the corporations, once in power won't be able to decide who controls who, which inevitably leads to a conflict for power. Now, corporate Americais ruthless, and what's the best way to destroy your competition? Obliterate them, of course. Literally. The logical course of action (at least after being oversexed from Valentine's Day) to these CEOs will be to nuke the competition, thereby establishing themselves as the sole proprietor of the most powerful country on Earth (well, at least before it was nuked). Now this doesn't mean it will all happen at once, because, of course, we would have seen something in the past 100 odd years.
If you are a woman, you've been shopping all week for a new dress, shoes, handbag, and sexy stockings. For what? So he'll see you in a way he never has before. Is it love? God, I hope so because this one night out is going to cost you both a fortune. Maybe he'll pop the question? "Girls, he asked me to marry him on Valentine's Day." How original! I think I'll throw up!
Want to do something really unique for Valentine's Day? Stay home! If you are like most of my clients and friends who dine out all the time, cook dinner. What a treat! Stop by your high-end grocer the day before to pick up all the essentials including caviar, and then the wine store for a bottle of Dom Perignon and a vintage bottle of Saint Emilion. Don't forget the flowers and candles—and a simple gift.
You will not only save a bundle, but you will also enjoy food and wine far superior to anything you could afford out. Most important, your Valentine will love you for it. "Girls, you wouldn't believe all the trouble he went through for Valentine's Day—the sweetest thing I ever saw!"
It is also entirely possible that Valentine's Day was actually invented by greeting card companies in early 19th century England. It was then that the penny post was inaugurated, which meant that much of the newly-emergent middle class could afford to send letters for the first time. But what to write? Thankfully for young lovers with writer's block, there was The Young Man's Valentine Writer, a book of "sexy" sayings and sentiments that could be copied and sent to one's amour.
However, each time you buy Valentine's Day paraphernalia the corporations ultimately inch closer to becoming more powerful than the government. Chew on that next time you decide to get a Valentine's Day card.